Category Archives: Blog


  • Streets of Papunya @ UNSW
  • Streets of Papunya @ UNSW
  • Streets of Papunya @ UNSW
  • StreetsofPapunyadoc4

Exhibition and Book Launch

Curated by eminent scholar of Papunya art Vivien Johnson, Streets of Papunya celebrates the renaissance of painting that has occurred in Papunya since the establishment of the Papunya Tjupi Arts Centre in 2007.

The exhibition and accompanying publication showcases the remarkable art of the women painters of Papunya alongside short films that explore the reality of life in the community and some of the important first works to leave Papunya. Streets of Papunya includes some of the first women painters in the desert, who joined the original Papunya art movement in the early 1980s, and the daughters of many of the ground-breaking Papunya Tula artists of the 1970s.

Highlighting the work of early, established and emerging artists, The Streets of Papunya reiterates the rich cultural history of painting in Central Australia through the eyes of the contemporary generation. The exhibition also looks at the history of painting practice at Papunya, including Albert Namatjiraʼs final paintings; early paintings from the 1970s and ʼ80s, from Papunya’s dark time as the ʻcarpetbagging capital of the desertʼ, through to its inspirational resurgence today as its artists reinvent Papunya painting for the twenty-first century. In addition to new paintings from Papunya Tjupi, it includes significant loans from the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Flinders University Collection. Artists in the exhibition from past and present include Albert Namatjira, Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula, Martha McDonald Napaltjarri, Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri.

Vivien Johnsonʼs book of the same name, published by NewSouth Publishing, will be launched in association with the exhibition. The artists are flying down to Sydney to officially open the exhibiton on October 2 with a talk and performance. All are invited to attend.

Streets of Papunya is currently on at UNSW until the 7th of November and tours to Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide (12 February -17 April), RMIT, Melbourne (7 May - 11 June) and ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra (14 July - 21 August) in 2016.


  • Hannah Millerick
  • Hannah Millerick
  • Hannah Millerick
  • Photo by Hannah Millerick
  • DesertMobSep2015,Hannah Millerick
  • Desert Mob gallery

‘We want to present our film at the Desert Mob Symposium this year and we will be very proud’ – Isobel Gorey


Martha McDonald Napaltjarri is an important Luritja Elder in the Papunya community. Born in 1941, Martha experienced a lot of living before she emerged as a vibrant and meticulous painter in 2008. Within this beautiful Elder is a funky fledgling artist full of colour and soul. Her enthusiasm and aliveness is quite tangible, and it…
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